Last week My good friend Alan and me decided to head out for a walk with our cameras. The original plan was to make it to the Derby Dales, but for various reasons, this option was soon scrapped and so we decided to head out to our local little oasis of Warley Woods for a couple of hours to stretch our legs and see what we could do with our cameras. Alan was keen to make use of his 14-24mm super wide lens on some landscape stuff, while I was going to use him as a model for me to practise a few portrait shots on. I had at my disposal some of my favourite lenses, the 50mm f1.2, the 85mm f1.8 and the 70-200mm f2.8 which all produce outstanding portrait images, even if you do have Alan as your model! (Only kidding Alan!)
On this first one, I found the roots of a tree made a great seat and when Alan looked away briefly I realised I had the perfect shot. The sky was cloudy and this made the lighting perfect for capturing soft, shadowless images. The 70-200mm lens made light work of this.
On this shot I had my 50mm lens wide open at f1.2 which meant I could get so close that the only part of Alan in focus was his eyes. The extra wide aperture means that the depth of field (the part of the image in focus) is so small that only a tiny part of the image is sharp. Even though his eyes are sharp, just a couple of inches away, his ears are already out of focus. I love this lens!
This one just worked, maybe my favourite image of the day? The walk round the park brought us to some stone pillars which were useful for posing next to. I took a few shots, but again, it happened to be when Alan glanced down at his shoe that I knew I’d got a great image! Black and white seemed the only way forward for this, taking out the colour helps to draw attention to the subject in the image.
This image was taken from barely a metre away, but with the background so out of focus it could have been taken anywhere, which is especially useful for things like shooting couples at a wedding where there is not much of a background to use. This particular lens comes with a hefty price tag, but there is a much cheaper version available, its brother the 50mm f1.8 comes in at a fraction of the price and is a lens I always recommend to people wanting to try their hand at portraits.